October 12, 2016
‘So those tall blond Northern Europeans are happier because they keep their gene pool so pure. Not kidding.’
A valuable glimpse inside the liberal mind, from Penelope Trunk, who has Asperger’s and therefore doesn’t self-censor:
But Denmark, Sweden and Norway are known for something besides hygge/happiness. Exclusion. Even if they are trying hard to be inclusive, those countries are among the most difficult in the world for expatriates. Because making new friends, and adapting to new people is hard. And seeing your own culture reflected back to you in another person’s culture is especially hard – because it reveals new ways of looking at tightly held beliefs. So expatriates are excluded from the happiest communities.
If you are voting for Trump, I don’t need to tell you that. You know it intuitively. Which is why I don’t want to be like you. I want to be someone who strives to see myself in new ways, and puts myself in new, difficult scenarios so that I can grow. I want to grow from doing something brave and challenging more than I want the security of homogeneity and happiness. (…)
But it’s why I’m teaching an upcoming course on happiness. Because it takes an expert to know that happiness the way most people define it makes you do crappy things like keep out immigrants and vote for Trump. Happiness is most powerful when it’s fueled by interestingness — diversity, unmet but engaging goals and real, meaningful choices.
That’s why I’m happy to live in a country where are schools are a mess due to the fact that we have so many different types of families. And we can’t even have cosiness with cocoa because we can’t agree on how cocoa should be made. I like the diversity. I like that it’s difficult. The easy way is not the path to happiness.